I notice you, Mr. Never-Tuck-In-My-Shirtsy-Because-I’m-Too-Cool-for-School, when you carry a newspaper into the men’s room at 1:37 pm and do not exit the men’s room until 2:03 pm.
I notice you, cute and very tiny office mates from down the hall, as you walk back and forth in the first floor hall, giggling and gossiping away your lunch hour. You both need to eat more, talk less.
I notice you, building complex maintenance crew member, as you saunter and meander without a care in the world, not in a hurry to get anything productive done.
I notice you, shiny shoes and three-piece suitster, when you exit the men’s room and THEN zip.
I notice you, more mature professional administrative assistant lady with gray hair who never washes your hands in the lady’s room, as you touch every door handle in the hallway, which is why I am always gripping a paper towel outside this office.
I notice you, window washer guys, plant waterer girl, cleaning crew people who are called during the day for emergency yuckiness outside of your evening schedule, as you work as hard if not harder than the rest of the building world but are treated as invisibles.
I notice you, parents and your issue-laden teenagers, as you try very hard to act civil with each other and put on a happy face on your way to counseling and therapy a few floors above.
I notice you, millennials and 50-something-silver-fox-who-should-know-better, as you bury your heads in your phones while you walk to the elevators, oblivious to the fact that you are being noticed and are completely unaware of the elderly couple who just struggled to open the heavy glass entry doors on their way to meet with their financial planner.
I notice you, elderly couple, scarf tied to protect her fixed hair and red ball-capped Chiefs fan, as you leave your financial planner’s office, holding hands.
I notice you, overweight man who should be a character straight outa’ The Office who cannot keep his white shirt tucked in which is just as bad as middle-aged Mr. Never-Tuck-In-My-Shirtsy across the hall who thinks he’s too cool for school, as you take your break from your perch upstairs to come to the first floor to stand right outside MY perch to handle your personal phone calls and cellular arguments so that I don’t miss out on the entertainment otherwise known as your drama. I notice that you do NOT notice that glass does not mean soundproof.
I notice you, chain of smokers all going down the long hallway on your way out the door to take your afternoon smoke break, relegated to the chilly air outside in order to quell the inner itch of addiction.
I notice you, fancy restaurant caterer and Jimmy Johns racer and Chinese delivery employee and FedEx blue and UPS brown people, bearers of all things fun and eagerly awaited…okay, MOSTLY all things fun and eagerly awaited. I am not sure you realize how many times a day I secretly wish you were coming to THIS side of the glass with your surprises in those boxes and sacks.
I notice you, ear-budded-tennis-shoe-wearing professionals who are smart enough to go outside and walk the beautiful trails during your breaks. I notice you and feel guilty that I am not doing the very same thing. I notice you and I am jealous of your motivation. I just need some earbuds and a little instruction manual on how a 50+ year old woman can learn how to listen to podcasts on her fancy schmancy phone. Yeah, that would give me motivation to introduce myself to a trail and 20 minutes of This American Life.
I notice you, 50+ year old woman sitting at a computer all the day long, observing everyone else, quaintly calling it observation while forgetting the lesson you had once mastered of being grateful and paying attention only to the log in your own eye. Remember that saying you once used quite often?
I notice you, Mr. Never-Tuck-In-My-Shirtsy, and how kind you are to everyone in the hallway.
I notice you, cute and tiny office mates from down the hall. I am glad you have each other at work. Friends at work are a bonus.
I notice you, building complex maintenance crew member. I don’t know if you are slow because you hurt, so I will try harder to remember that I do not walk in your shoes.
I notice you, shiny shoes and three-piece suitster. I shouldn’t notice you. I should let you zip in the privacy of your space.
I notice you, more mature professional administrative assistant lady with gray hair who never washes your hands in the lady’s room. You have made me more aware of the need to wash my own hands and be vigilant about germ-spreading. Thank you.
I notice you, invisibles. I will try harder to notice you with much gratitude for making the windows sparkle, the plants grow, and the bathrooms a welcome space for those of us who “live” here each day.
I notice you, parents and your issue-laden teenagers. I understand the anxiety of pre-therapy moments, the fragile self-esteem, the uncertainty of dealing. May you find answers as you deal and heal.
I notice you, millennials and 50-something-silver-fox, buried in your phones and oblivious to your surroundings, and I hope that whatever captures your attention is good news and not bad.
I notice you, elderly couple, and I am grateful that you give the rest of us hope for love and devotion in the later years.
I notice you, overweight man with the partially tucked shirt who needed a private conference room to discuss personal issues. I am grateful for the opportunity and reminder to ignore and mind my own business.
I notice you, chain of smokers. I do not know the humiliation of being ostracized because of a habit/addiction, but I can only imagine if eating potato chips were banned in the building and I had to stand along the wall just outside the door in order to indulge with other potato chip eating addicts. It wouldn’t be pleasant, and I would feel judged. I am sorry. I’m being serious and funny at the same time. Potato chip eating is my struggle.
I notice you, delivery people. Sometimes I envy you for the fun job you have of giving gifts every day, but I also understand the pressure you are under and appreciate your urgency.
I notice you, ear-budded-tennis-shoe-wearing professionals who inspire me to bring my tennis shoes back to work and inspire me to ask a millennial how to download a podcast.
And finally, I notice you, 50+ year old woman sitting at a computer all the day long. Do better. Be better. Give grace. And remember your saying about miles and shoes.